Since the theme of this show was “Document”, this was also our theme for the second 20 Neighborhoods session of the season.
As members of the organizations Arts of Life and Chinese American Service League (CASL) arrived, Betsy led a lesson on making simple hand bound pamphlet journals. This was a struggle for some participants who had no experience book-making but in the end, everyone ended up with a beautifully bound journal with bright colored cardstock covers.
As we moved on to the next activity of the day, tours began and journals were used for those who wished to document (sketch or take notes on) the discussed artworks. Betsy and Renie led Arts of Life members around the gallery, who seemed most interested in conversing about the artwork. CASL members on the other hand, led by Ana, enjoyed sketching the artwork and were less interested in the verbal discussion side. As usual, the discussions brought up all types of associations and conversations that furthered all participants’ understandings on art-viewing perspective.
After a break for snack, we decided to encourage Arts of Life members and CASL members to mingle a bit more (despite language and culture barriers) by playing a mirroring game. The game consists of two people facing one another, one of which is leading by making physical movements, as the other copies those movements as though both participants are looking in a mirror. As members of the two groups were paired, physical and emotional communication broke the ice and eye contact was essential.
The day ended with collage making led by Renee. All participants received another participant’s journal, and created a collage on their cover. This was another effort towards forming relationships with others while making artwork. Experimenting with collage and using various paper materials was fun and playful for all. Visual associations and preferences led the process and the journals were given back to the owner.
The day was over surprisingly quickly. Everyone left with a journal and evidence of what we all had seen, learned and experienced. Hugs and smiles were exchanged as we all said goodbye, feeling a bit more connected to one another.